The ''Avatar'' director aimed to transport audiences into a new world with his new film

By Josh Rottenberg
December 18, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST
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  • Movie
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No. 10 – King of yet another world

James Cameron, the director of such swing-for-the-fences blockbusters as Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Titanic, has never been one to think small, but with his sci-fi magnum opus Avatar, he set his sights on something especially big. Like, melt-your-brain big. ”This is a movie about a voyage not just to another planet, but to another state of perception,” he says, adding, ”I wasn’t trying to make a movie to play on an iPhone.” To fulfill his vision of an immersive, photo-realistic alien world — the moon Pandora, populated by tall blue natives called the Na’vi — Cameron spent the better part of 15 years (and well over $200 million, but who’s counting?) developing performance-capture and 3-D technology more advanced than any utilized in film before. With this quantum leap into the future — both on screen and off — Cameron, 55, has taken us back to an experience as old as the movies themselves: sitting in the dark, being transported to somewhere we never imagined.

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  • Movie
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  • PG-13
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  • 162 minutes
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